IOR study reveals how breast cancer therapy may be effective against COVID-19
Institutional Communication Service
17 February 2021
The so-called "Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators" (SERMs) treatments used in breast cancer therapy may be effective against COVID-19. This is what emerges from a study conducted by the Istitute of Oncology Research (IOR, affiliated to USI) based on data obtained from the Veneto Tumor Registry (Italy) has observed a lower risk of developing the coronavirus disease for women affected by hormonal-driven cancers subjected to this type of therapy.
The study, performed in collaboration with the VIMM-University of Padova, the Veneto Tumor Registry and led by Dr Arianna Calcinotto, group leader at IOR, investigates a suggested off-target effect of SERMs during SARS-CoV-2 infection, identifying a possible clinical use for this class of drugs for the treatment of COVID-19 patients. The study published in the leading cancer journal Annals of Oncology included 51,060 women tested for COVID-19 infection in the Veneto Region during the first epidemic wave.
According to Dr. Calcinotto, "patients affected by hormonal-driven cancers receiving SERMs appear to be partially protected from COVID-19 infections. The results obtained - although they require to be further validated in a larger cohort of patients and molecular studies are need to shed light on the mechanism of action - identify a new and possible way to prevent or mitigate the effects of the SARS-CoV-2 infection".
The full study Clinical outcome of SARS-CoV-2 infection in breast and ovarian cancer patients underwent anti-estrogenic therapy is available online at the website of Annals of Oncology here: